With so many digital distractions these days, it can be tricky to ensure that our kids get the exercise they need on a daily (or even weekly) basis. Working cycling into the school run is a sure-fire way of introducing regular exercise into your children’s routine and setting them up for a healthier lifestyle. And with schools slowly starting to reopen across the UK, now’s the perfect time to prepare your child for a ride to school, ready for when they return.
In this article we discuss the main benefits of turning the school run into a two-wheeled adventure and what you should look out for when you’re choosing a bike for your child.
Benefits of cycling to school
It’ll encourage them to be more active
Experts say that in order to stay fit and healthy, children should do some type of moderate physical exercise for at least one hour each day. While sports classes at school go some way to helping kids achieve this, a report by Sport England found that one in three kids does less than half the recommended physical exercise per day.
Cycling to school is a great way to help your kids meet that one-hour-a-day target. In fact, according to research by Cycling UK, kids aged 10-16 who regularly cycle to school are 70% (girls) and 30% (boys) more likely to meet their recommended fitness levels.
It’s good for their health
Research has shown that being active from a young age right through into adulthood can really improve the chances of your children living longer, healthier (and hopefully happier!) lives. The main cause of heart disease in later life is physical inactivity, so staying active is definitely a smart idea.
There are plenty of immediate health benefits, too, including improved bone strength, healthier joints and improved performance in school – perfect for your little learners!
It’s a convenient way to exercise – and fun!
Nowadays, kids have so many gadgets and gizmos for entertainment that exercise isn’t always a top priority. The school run is the perfect opportunity to work some exercise into their daily routine, as it’s something they’re going to be doing each day anyway.
Cycling to school is also a fun way of getting to know the local area and, for many kids, can be more exciting than travelling by car. They might even find that cycling to school makes the journey quicker, thanks to the lack of congestion, which means a precious few more minutes in bed each morning!
It can help save the planet
Cycling is great for the environment, too. By taking a bike instead of the car, you and your kids can help to reduce local traffic congestion and pollution, which is great for the local area (and the polar bears!).
… And it can help you save some dough!
After the initial investment in bikes and some basic kit, cycling becomes a really cost-effective way of getting your kids to and from school. It’ll help to reduce your petrol or public transport costs, and also save you some precious time stuck in the rush hour crawl.
Choosing the right bike for your child
Feeling inspired to get a new bike for your child? Then it’s important that you get exactly the right size to help make sure that your child will be able to ride comfortably and safely. Check out our guide here if you’d like to learn more about getting the right size bike for your child.
You’ll also need to make sure your child’s head is protected while they cycle to school. Kids’ cycling helmets come in a wide range of styles and sizes, so it’s important to know what to look out for. Helmets that are too big (or too small) will be uncomfortable for your child to wear, and won’t protect your child’s head properly. For more information, have a read of our guide to choosing a child’s bike helmet.